The GAA and GPA have announced today that their respective annual player awards schemes are to merge under the sponsorship of Opel which will see the achievements of the outstanding players recognised jointly for the first time.
The GAA, GPA All-Stars 2011, sponsored by Opel will mark a new departure for both bodies from their traditional awards schemes and speaking about the new merger, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Criostóir Ó Cuana said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm that agreement has been reached with the GPA as part of plans to honour excellence in our games through the highly respected and much valued vehicle that is the All-Stars scheme, a scheme now enhanced through an amalgamation with the GPA’s Player Awards.
“This is a further indication of the ongoing co-operation with our players and I acknowledge the assistance of Dessie Farrell and his team in helping to bring us to this point.
“We look forward to working closely with Opel, who have been great supporters of our players through the GPA for a considerable time, to ensure that the All-Star awards remain amongst the most coveted in Irish sport.”
Dessie Farrell, Chief Executive Officer of the GPA added: “The announcement of a joint awards scheme under the sponsorship of Opel was a logical step in the partnership between the GAA and the players’ association and reflects the strengthening relationship between both bodies. While it was not feasible to keep two awards schemes in operation it was important for both organisations that the integrity of the respective awards was appreciated under the new arrangement. I would like to thank sincerely Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Criostóir Ó Cuana and Dave Sheeran, MD of Opel Ireland for their support in developing the new joint scheme and we look forward to celebrating the contribution of our hurlers and footballers to the 2011 season at the All-Stars banquet next month.”
Opel have been sponsoring the Gaelic Players Awards for the past five years and speaking about the new merger, Dave Sheeran, Managing Director of Opel Ireland said: “Opel are proud to continue our association with Gaelic games, with today’s announcement of the GAA GPA All-Stars sponsored by Opel. Our commercial agreement also includes becoming the official car partner of the GAA and the GPA.
The GAA All-Stars have a rich heritage and the new GAA GPA All-Stars awards platform has been evolved to build upon that heritage. We are committed to not only playing our part in recognising the highest achievers in our games, but through schemes like Opel Kit for Clubs we provide our support to players, fans and volunteers at all levels of the games. We look forward to a long association with both the GAA and the GPA.”
Under the new joint awards scheme, a committee of GAA journalists will choose the respective All-Star teams of the year while the individual Player of the Year and Player of the Month awards will be selected by the inter-county playing body. Three individual Player of the Year awards from the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups will also form part of the combined GAA GPA All-Stars Awards, as will the two Young Player of the Year awards.
The All-Star Awards will be presented at a Gala Event at the Convention Centre Dublin on October 21 which will be broadcast live on RTÉ television. Each winner on the All-Stars team will receive a €1,500 cheque, for the use of their image for promotional purposes while the individual Players of the Year will receive a €5,000 cheque each.
Players of the Month will be presented with a cheque of €1,000, with the 2011 Players of the Month awards to be announced retrospectively at a separate event.
This year’s tour, involving the 2010 and 2011 hurling selections, will visit San Francisco in late November.